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Atlantic Philanthropies Awards $18 Million for Chicago Middle-School Initiative

Resource type: News

Philanthropy News Digest |

Atlantic Philanthropies has announced a four-year, $18 million grant to support a five-school effort designed to help middle school students in the Chicago Public School system succeed in high school and graduate. Chicago is one of up to four sites nationwide selected to participate in the initiative because of its demonstrated success in both school reform and community redevelopment.

The Integrated Services in Schools initiative will work to provide students with multiple supports, including comprehensive on-site health services; preschool, afterschool, and summer learning opportunities; and effective mentor relationships with caring adults. ISS also will work to ensure that middle school students and their families benefit from available public programs such as tax credits and healthcare coverage.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation/Chicago will manage the initiative, and a community-based organization participating in LISC/Chicago’s New Communities Program will partner with each school and oversee the effort at the neighborhood level. With the Chicago Community Trust acting as fiscal agent for the initiative, the grant is expected to leverage $15.8 million in new or redirected support from public and private sources.

Participating schools include Ames Middle School in Logan Square (partnering with the Logan Square Neighborhood Association), Marquette Elementary in Chicago Lawn (partnering with the Southwest Organizing Project), Orozco Elementary in Pilsen (partnering with the Resurrection Project), Perspectives-Calumet Middle School in Auburn Gresham (partnering with Auburn Gresham Development Corporation), and Reavis Elementary in Grand Boulevard and Kenwood (partnering with Quad Communities Development Corporation).

“Middle schools are a too often neglected link in the chain of success for children and their families,” said Atlantic Philanthropies president and CEO Gara LaMarche. “Atlantic believes that all children, regardless of income or background, deserve access to high-quality afterschool and other out-of-school programs, adult mentors who care about them, and healthcare coverage and services. By providing these supports…and documenting what works, Chicago schools can lead the way for thousands of public middle schools across the country in ensuring the success of their students.”

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